Chelston and Aculab Keep Blind and Partially Sighted People in Touch

MILTON KEYNES, UK and PANAMA CITY, FL - A new teleconferencing system that puts blind and partially sighted people in touch with each other has been developed for the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) by Chelston Call Systems using speech-processing resources from Aculab. "The teleconferencing system was commissioned by RNIB for the launch of its groundbreaking new Talk and Support service, the first project of its kind in the world," explains Faye Matthews, strategic marketing manager at Aculab, a leading provider of enabling technology for the communications market. "Launched in March 2002, it allows people taking part to use the phone to share ideas, support each other, gain information and learn to cope more easily with sight loss - from the comfort of their own homes." To create the system, Chelston Call Systems supplied RNIB with an audio conferencing bridge with voice recording facilities, based on its CallHandler-720 platform, an open standards Windows NT based computer telephony system that offers open architecture and web browser based control. "RNIB had the added challenge of helping blind and partially sighted people who also may have hearing difficulties, so quality of sound is crucial to them," says Mike Quelch, Director at Chelston Call Systems. "With features such as automatic gain control and echo cancellation, Aculab's Prosody card was the natural choice to provide the digital signal processing (DSP) resources necessary."
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